In it’s 14th year, event co-director Kate Berman called this year’s Janss Pro Am, “the best ever.”
The Janss Pro Am has long been regarded as one of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s (SVSEF) most entertaining annual fundraisers. With two days of Giant Slalom racing featuring both professional skiers and local ski bums, a dinner hosted at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley and a crew of the most enthusiastic costume contest competitors in town, it seemed pretty hard for anyone to not have a good time.
“His experiences as a ski racer taught him the importance of helping young racers achieve their potential. As a result, Bill became a valuable supporter of Sun Valley’s junior racing programs,” Berman said. “The Janss Pro Am Classic honors Bill’s passion for the sport of skiing and continues his legacy of supporting hundreds of children participating in Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation programs.”
And, with a weekend of sold out events and 28 participating race teams, the SVSEF and Wood River community showed their respect and appreciation for all of the late Bill Janss’s contributions over the years.
This year’s Pro Am featured a junior pro racer from the SVSEF on each slalom team. Many of the event’s attendees said the new addition of the SVSEF’s skiers and snowboarders is part of what made this year so special.
“The young athletes did a phenomenal job representing the SVSEF and we were thrilled to incorporate our athletes in the Janss Race,” Berman said. “The race was a unique opportunity for our supporters and contributors to interact with the SVSEF athletes.”
The Pro Am racing teams, which included many returning competitors from previous years, kept the energy high throughout Friday and Saturday with good-natured but fierce competitiveness and unfailing enthusiasm. And although the teams were fighting hard to win the Janss Pro Am team bragging rights, many would wait at the bottom of the racecourse after their runs to cheer on their friends and neighbors despite the temporary rivalries.
The results for the weekend’s races and contests came as no surprise, with some of the best skiers and outfits taking first.
The 5B Ski Club team won first in the overall race, followed by the Cougar team in second and the SVSEF team in third.
The Speed Cup, which is based only on the speed of the handicapped runs from Friday, was given to the Six at Sochi team, with the Royal Wedding team in second and the Meat Hunters in third.
The Cougar team won best costume for their semi-matching set of leopard unitards adorned with furry accessories, painted on whiskers and inflatable men dragging behind them. The Kentucky Derby team, whose pro skier wore a horse costume, came in second, and the goofy outfits of the Gapers de Jour team received third.
Awards were also given to Trip Nabors and Phil Erlanger for best crash and to Wes Powell and Samantha Busby for most inspirational racers.
The dinner on Saturday continued on in the lively fashion of the events preceding it with a “Hats off to Bill Janss” theme. The Limelight room was packed with attendees wearing all styles of headdresses be they fur, felt, feathered, sequined or knit, and the evening ended with people waving and tossing their hats on the dance floor.
All the money raised by the Janss Pro Am goes to help support the 500 youth skiers and snowboarders on the SVSEF’s teams. For more information on the Pro Am or the SVSEF, visit www.svsef.org/Homepage.aspx.